About this Show

MSNBC News Live

News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events.

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
Annapolis, MD, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Port 1235

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
mp2

PIXEL WIDTH
720

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 11, United States 5, Japan 5, Tokyo 5, Ben 5, Duracell 4, New York 3, California 3, New Jersey 3, Msnbc 3, U.s. 3, Dr. Ash 2, Kenneth 2, Eric Fisher 2, Fukushima 2, Phillips 2, Obama 2, Campbell 2, Sendai 2, Fda 1,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  MSNBC    MSNBC News Live    News/Business. Live news coverage,  
   breaking news and current news events.  

    March 12, 2011
    9:00 - 10:00am EST  

9:00am
>> ( heartbeats )
9:01am
first an earthquake, then a tsuna tsunami, now the threat of a nuclear power plant meltdown. northeast japan is reeling in the wake of the catastrophe. also this morning, a new york freeway is the scene of a horrific tour bus accident. at least 13 people are dead. a sober good morning to all of you. i'm alex witt. we're going to bring you more on that bus accident in just a bit. we continue with the disaster in japan. new alarming issues this
9:02am
morning. a japanese government official says there's no increase in radiation around a nuclear power plant after an explosion you're seeing on screen destroyed a building that housed a reactor. at the same time, officials say they fear a meltdown could be possible because two reactors at that plant have lost their cooling abilities. help is on the way. today, the first wave of 50,000 troops began arriving by boats and helicopters to the hardest hit areas. japanese officials now say at least 574 people were killed in the earthquake in tsunami. however, local media reports say at least 1300 people may have died. powerful after shocks continue to shake the region. let's go live once again to tokyo. ian williams is there on the ground following things for us. with a good evening your time, ian, what's the latest you're hearing about the nuclear power plants and any sort of a risk of a meltdown? >> well, hello, alex. as if things aren't bad enough as it is, now the threat of a
9:03am
nuclear meltdown coming as japan is only begin to go grasp the full and terrible expense of the destruction from friday's tsunami. japan woke today to images of terrible destruction along this midwest coast. this country has done more than perhaps any other to prepare for this sort of disaster. but nothing could lessen the shock from these scenes. the remains of towns, slammed by friday's 30-foot tsunami which swept away houses, cars, ships, just about everything in its path. officials have warned the death toll is expected to exceed 1,300 people. most of them drown. up to 300 poupdz bodies were found saturday along the coast of sendai, the city closest to the epicenter of the 8.9 quake, the strongest ever recorded in japan. soldiers have poured into the area, a huge operation to rescue those still stranded, helicopters plucking desperate survivors from rooftops of homes
9:04am
engulfed in water. at least 300 people were waiting to be rescued from this hospital. we tried to escape by car, this woman said, but we were caught in the waves and were washed away here. other survivors huddled into shelters where they were able to receive basic provisions. many buildings, including an oil refinery, were still burning today. the u.s. geological survey says japan's main island ves shifted by about 8 feet as a result of the quake. there have been at least 125 powerful after shocks in the last 24 hours. even before today's explosion at a nuclear power plant, the authorities had declared a state of emergency at five nuclear reactors and warned of a meltdown. thousands have been evacuated from their homes nearby. and officials had insisted that while there would be radiation leaks, it would be small.
9:05am
well, the government is continuing to insist that there has been no serious radiation leak from the plant, although it concedes that radiation has been released as a result of that explosion. but the evacuations around the plant continue, including there is a great deal of anxiety as smoke continues to come from that reactor, alex. >> okay. how about do you get a sense of that kind of anxiety in tokyo, as well, ian? is this really all that the news stations can cover or is it just one of a number of problems they're dealing with? >> i think it's one of a number of enormous problems they're dealing with. people here are used to quakes. they have quakes all the time, but never on this scale. tokyo survived pretty well unscathed structurally. the buildings here are pretty robust. they're built to survive powerful earthquakes. but the people themselves were very badly shaken.
9:06am
people i spoke with today, friends, colleagues, say they've never lived through anything quite like this quake before. now, it seems to be normal on the street here. it's even quite quiet. it's the weekend. and people are watching with anxiety these images from the nuclear plants. also the images, the terrible images of destruction across the northeast. quite shocking images that people woke up to today. and the relation that the death toll, according to local media, could go as high at 1,300 people, alex. >> okay. ian, thank you so much from tokyo. well, this morning's explosion at one nuclear reactor triggered evacuations of any 12 mile radium. scientists are concerned that a reactor at the site and one about six miles away are at risk of meltdowns. steve is a spokesman for the nuclear energy institute and he joins me on the phone. steve, good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> some say that radiation is already escaping. you have the japanese government
9:07am
saying things are under control, that radiation is not posing a problem immediately. how do you see it, given what you know, and how dangerous is this situation? >> well, it's clearly a serious operational situation. there's no doubt about that. i just would caution people before folks get, you know, terribly, terribly spun up to just to recognize that radiation is something that we all live with. we're all exposed to it every day by virtue of being on planet earth. so there are certain levels that, you know, we can accommodate and there are even some theories that in very small doses that it may be beneficial. that's the argument for another day. but what is important is, you know, people should keep in mind, even in the united states, when we had the three-mile island accident, there was about half of the fuel core that was melted, but because of the overall protective nature of the plant and the filters and that
9:08am
kind of thing that are in place and that are certainly in place in japan, the key question is what is the amount of those releases? because it was determined here in our country back 30 years ago that the radiation releases were only about a one-fourth or one-fifth of natural background. so there wasn't any in numerous studies over the years verified this, that there were no adverse public health eks. certainly people get scared. there's anxiety. that's unfortunate and it's understandable, but we should just keep in mind that even in the face of releases, we should not automatically fear the worst because it's going to depend on the level. >> okay. i want to ask you something. we had our cnbc bureau chief there talk about these numbers. i'm throwing it at you and i want your perspective. according to the japanese government at the fukushima daiichi plant, number one, the number 1,015 micro-sables is the
9:09am
way it's documented. at that level, it has been reduced now to 70. now, that is -- or 1015. pardon me, 1015 down to 70. is that normal? is that within a safe range? is that out of control? can you interpret those numbers? >> it's a reasonably small level. let me give you the frame of reference. >> okay. >> in the united states, the nuclear regulatory commission, our federal oversight agency, the limit that it sets on nuclear power plant worker exposure in any single year per person is 5,000 milirim. okay? >> okay. >> the natural background that we all live just by living and breathing is about 300 millirim. so even though -- so you see there's considerable margin even in what the nuclear regulatory commission believes is still a safe level for those working in
9:10am
the plant every day. the levels that i was hearing from the control room as of yesterday evening were at levels that were probably going the to equate for someone if you were working year-round in the plant was probably going the to be about two or three times what the nrc annual limit is. so -- but on a limited short-term basis, and if those -- as you say, alex, if those have subsequently come down on a limited short-term basis, that should not be hazardous. and then the other thing is i was hearing -- the measurements i was hearing as far as what the measurements were at the plant boundary were even far smaller than that. so i -- from that standpoint, i think we can -- you know, we can just -- for now, we can be concerned and know it is serious operationally but at this point, particularly given the protective evacuation procedures and the fact that they are providing radioactive eyeo dine to help prevent intake into thyroids, the public should
9:11am
still -- the public is being protected at this point.help pr thyroids, the public should still -- the public is being protected at this point. >> oshg. and you bring up the iodine protection pills. the japanese iea say they're going to distribute them. there's no harm is distributing them, is there? if the measurable levels of radiation are not that high, should people not take the iodine? >> as a precaution, people would and should take them at this point to the extent that there the are still people, you know, within the immediate vicinity of that facility. as i understand the, they've been evacuated. but you know, we have potassium iodine that is stockpiled around nuclear facilities in the united states as a precaution and in some states it's stock the piled in a central location. in other states, it's actually already previously distributed to every household. so it's going to vary, but it's one of the standard protective measures that's in place.
9:12am
>> all right. steve, thanks so much for phoning in from the nuclear energy instance. we appreciate that. >> thank you. residents in hawaii are surveying the damage today from that tsunami that traveled from japan. here is what the scene looks like on the big island. some homes were completely inundated, others were washed off their foundation. groups of cars were damaged when water rushed up on roadways. a handful of hotel lobbies were flooded. and moving east to the west coast where the cleanup is continuing in oregon, residents there are back home this morning. many of them were forced to evacuate yesterday. in the town of brooking, several boats and docks were hit yesterday. and in crescent city, california, one man is swept out to sea. the coast guard says it is likely he is fought going to be found alive. and water rushed into the harbor ripping off chunks from the wooden docks.
9:13am
i'll tell you, the marina dock workers were scrambling to secure property in between all those surges. that was some job. officials in japan are warning that the danger from friday's deadly quake is not over. the powerful earthquakes have continued off japan, including one measuring 6.4 less than an hour ago. those after shocks could spawn more tsunamis. kenneth hudnut joins me again. with a good morning to you again, kenneth, 6.4 just in the last hour. what kind of damage are we looking at from that, if any? is it marible damage we can see? >> well, this is not one of the larger after shocks. it's a notable one, but one after shock was magnitude 7.1 and another 6.8. so this is probably in the noise, in other words, probably did not do any additional damage. one thing to consider is that some of the structures may have been damaged in the main shock and some of the earlier after shocks, so they may be especially vulnerable.
9:14am
it's always possible that you'll have additional building collapses due to the lake after shocks. one peck tack lar example of what can happen with after shocks is even a smaller late after shock can be especially damaging like the one in christ christ church new zealand recently. one thing about after shocks is typically you can get an after shock of up to 1 magnitude less than the main shock. so, in other words, here we could see an after shock as large as 7.9 and it would be unsurprising. that's very typical. >> okay. with regard to the length of time the people are going to be dealing with these after shocks, the kind that is correct measurable, you may have heard an interview i had previously with the former ambassador to japan, he said most of the earthquakes in japan you don't even feel. is that going to be the case? are these going to be the kinds of things people will be reminded frequently about what they went through yesterday? >> they'll get frequent
9:15am
reminders for quite a while. it could go go or years that they'll have aftershocks. those people around the world that have experienced eshgs and all the aftershocks, it can set you on edge for a long time afterwards with all the aftershocks. we've experienced that here in california, certainly. so one other thing about the unsettled state of the sea floor, this was such a large earthquake, the main shock was, that large parts of the sea floor may have been destabilized. so even a relatively moderate or a smaller after shock could cause the sea floor to collapse and you could have another tsunami. either associated with a very large aftershock or with sea floor displacements from slumping. >> a 30-foot tsunami like the kind we saw yesterday? >> well, that's unlikely. but sometimes an aftershock of, say, we talked about even possibly a 7.9 being unsurprising. that's a large enough earthquake to really cause the cutting
9:16am
loose of a large slump. and depending on the size of a slump, you could get a sue ma'ammy with large run ups again. hopefully not any associated with the one with the main shock. >> hopefully not. thank you so much. >> my pleasure. economic news the, with gas prices going up 44 cents in the past month, what can president obama do about it? 100 ways to enjoy pringles. ♪ ♪ and they're the same price as the leading bag chips. 100 crisps... 100 ways. ♪ everything pops with pringles. ♪ but you can still refinance to a fixed rate as low as 4.75% at lendingtree.com,
9:17am
where customers save an average of $293 a month. call lending tree at... today. what are you looking at? logistics. ben? the ups guy? no, you see ben, i see logistics. logistics? think--ben is new markets. ben is global access-- china and beyond. ben is a smarter supply chain. ben is higher margins. happier customers... everybody wins. logistics. exactly. see you guys tomorrow. until the combination of three good probiotics in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work. [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
9:18am
9:19am
we will with return to the breaking developments regarding japan, but first we have another breaking development for you. severe floodsing and water are rising in the northeast, especially new jersey. roadways and homes flooded out. up to 4 inches of rain were dumped on communities including wayne and little falls, new
9:20am
jersey. eric fisher is joining us live from little falls, new jersey. you have your wades on and i doesn't look promising. >> i think the sports authority down the street has had a run on hip waders for folks who live here. many neighborhoods look like this. there are dozens inundated with water and this water is still rising. if you came to us an hour ago, this would have been dry land. what we have over my shoulder here is this is the passaic river. this the will be the biggest concern until about 8:00 this evening. likely another 6 to 12 inches is left in that river and it is moving at a fast clip, so a dangerous pace of the water moving by. the other rivers, there's good news there. we are seeing some of them fall. pompton lake, governor christy was touring some of the flood areas. that river, the ramapo is falling rapidly this morning.
9:21am
it will be below moderate stage over the new few hours. the pompton river is starting to come down. to our west, the susquehanna river is cresting this morning and the delaware river is cresting this morning, as well. we're at the apex of our flood event. heading into sunday and monday, slowly these waters are going to rece recede. believe it or not, in neighborhoods like this, they have dealt with this seven out of the last 11. many around here blame a dam. it's flooded here almost every year since that dam was created. >> eric fisher, thanks for bringing it to you. appreciate that. we have new details to share with you at this hour. at least 13 dead and six critically injured in a bus crash. a law enforcement official now says that a witness reports that the bus was cut off by a tractor-trailer causing that bus to slide over and it slid on its
9:22am
top through one of the posts that holds highway signs. march ra, i bet it's a heck of a sight for you to see, very disturbing and scary. >> absolutely, alex. the medical examiner is still on scene and that bus is lying there still on its side after this awful, awful accident. law enforcement officials are telling us that the accident took place around 6:00 this morning. temporarily shutting down both sides of traffic on i-95. though 95 north, as you can see, is moving again. it's been opened up again. 95 south is still shut down. aus mentioned, law enforcement officials are saying they did receive a 911 call from a motorists and another vehicle saying that they saw a tractor-trailer cut off that bus, sending it careening into a pole that sliced into it, killing 13 of the 32 passengers on board. the number of fatalities could very well rise. we have another six critically injured, two seriously wounded and 11 others with minor injuries. now, that bus was reportedly
9:23am
returning from the mohican sun casino. it was en route to chinatown section of manhattan when this accident occurred. in terms of the reason for it, despite that 911 call, officials say they are still investigating. they are not certain that that was the cause or a factor. they are looking for the driver of that tractor-trailer so that they can question them about exactly what happened. the driver of the bus did survive. he is in stable condition so they are expecting to be able to talk to him to find out exactly what happened here this morning with this awful accident. alex. >> yeah. what a story to tell. well, thank you very much from the bronx. the potential ripple effect of the earthquake at the gas pump and what president obama can do to combat rising prices. you're watching msnbc saturday. . set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy. one opportunity leading to another...
9:24am
and another. we all have a hand in it. because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere. let's keep it moving. ♪ let's keep it moving.
9:25am
everyone has someone to go heart healthy for. who's your someone? campbell's healthy request can help. low cholesterol, zero grams trans fat, and a healthy level of sodium. it's amazing what soup can do. ♪ [ folk pop ] [ man ] ♪ if you got worries then you're like me ♪ ♪ don't worry now i won't hurt you ♪ ♪ and if you got worries then you're like me ♪ ♪ don't worry now i won't desert you ♪ ♪ [ continues ] [ announcer ] when it comes to the things you care about, leave nothing to chance. travelers. insurance for auto and home. call or click now for an agent or quote. a living, breathing intelligence that is helping business rethink how to do business. ♪ in here, inventory can be taught to learn... so products get routed to where they're needed most. ♪
9:26am
in here, machines have a voice... so they can tell headquarters when they need refilling. ♪ in here, money works smarter... so financial institutions can turn dreams into realities. in here, medical history is brought to life... so doctors can see a patient's medical records -- even if they're away from home. it's more than advanced technology. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities, creating and integrating solutions, helping business, and the world...work. rethink possible. in tech watch, a leading tech industry analyst estimates
9:27am
apple sold about 500,000 ipad 2s yesterday on its first day of the market. apple sold 300,000 of the original ipads on its first day last year. the ipad line is the fastest selling tech product ever. the price at the pump is putting new pressure on the economy and its fragile economy. check out these numbers. the average gallon of gas will cost you $3.55, up about 43 cents sips last month. up 71 cents from a year autoing. still, president obama says leaders in washington aren't doing enough to address it. >> every few years, gas prices go up, politicians pull out the same old political playbook and then nnk nothing changes. and when prices go back down, we slip back into a transe and when prices go up, suddenly we're shocked. i think the american people are tired of that. >> let's bring in author radio host and msnbc contributor stroit extraordinaire michael
9:28am
smerkonis. with a good morning, what do you make of what the president said there and why is there a seemingly lack of good will to tackle this issue? >> there's not only a lack of good will. if there ever ever a time when you think think we would have the motivation to get off that dependance on foreign oil, it would have been september 11th. the events in the gulf, that didn't do it. old habits die very, very hard. look at that front page story in today's "new york times" today about incandescent bulbs. here, the congress has tried to do something to spur energy efficiency, and what are mernls saying? we like our old light bulbs. everything has a constituency. >> do you think it's only a matter of time, though, that they come around, it's just breaking habit? whether it's our dependency on oil or a certain kind of light
9:29am
bulb? >> i think in part it's a lot of pressure on the private sector to give us an alternative that makes us think, well, this is going to be easier and better for us. i mean, at a high speed rail, another front page story on a day like today. and what did they say in florida? no, we don't want to do that because we're wedded to our cars. i think there's a generational thing that goes on here and it's going to take a long, long time for us to change our primary habits. >> i'll always been fascinated by the high speed rail and lack of drive for that. anybody that goes to europe and uses their high speed rail trains, they come away and go, oh, this is great. it's a matter of putting in the investments, though. >> well, it is. but in the short-term, they seem to lose money. at this particular time, it's just one more reason why we are loathed to make that kind of a change. i have my eye also today, alex, on those events in japan. i'm not sure what the reverberations will be from whatever the nuclear situation is. and here we are at a time about to go in the direction of
9:30am
plug-in automobiles, the chevy volt and others. that's largely dependent upon the generation of electricity which is going to come from nuclear power. so fingers crossed not only for the well being of the japanese, but also for the future of the nuclear alternative in the united states because if that takes a turn, that, too, is going to be a set back for us. >> yeah. michael, do you see a tipping point, a line which will be reached in terms of what people pay at the pump, at which point they say, okay, enough, let's get some help from the government? >> i hit it this morning. i filled -- i had half a tank. i have an f-150. i paid $3.53 a gallon. i was in for like 50 buck force a half a tank of gas. so i think we're just about there. but others would probably tell you it's $4. here comes spring break. a lot of people want to travel. we're planning our summer vacations. if you say, well, i'm going to take the airline, their prices are already spiking. if you say, i'm going to drive, that's becoming cost
9:31am
prohibitive. gasoline prices are one of those things that hit you directly in the pocketbook. there's no defraying that cost. >> it's funny, we're both in similar situation easy. i was driving to work today and the gas light came on and i thought to myself, oh, no, i'd dreading that. >> see ya, alex. >> thank you so much. in a moment, we'll bring you the latest on the devastating earthquake in japan, including how the u.s. is helping out. malk "heroes" are only in movies, consider this: over 70% of firefighters are local volunteers... these are our neighbors putting their lives on the line. and when they rely on a battery, there are firefighters everywhere who trust duracell. and now you can join with duracell to help. just buy specially-marked packs & duracell will make a battery donation to local volunteers. these days don't we all need someone to trust...? duracell. trusted everywhere. we get double miles on every purchase. so we earned a trip to vegas twice as fast! [ brays ]
9:32am
and since double miles add up fast, we can bring the whole gang. is caesar home? we get double miles every time we use our card, no matter what we're buying. thank you! thank you very much! [ garth ] it's hard to beat double miles! if anyone objects, let them speak now or forever hold their... [ bleats ] [ male announcer ] get the venture card from capital one. money magazine's best rewards card if you aim to rack up airline miles. what's in your wallet? cannonball!! [ clang ]
9:33am
9:34am
new this morning, japan is doubling the evacuation areas surrounding a power plant facing a meltdown. japan's government says radiation has leaked from the reactor plant in fukushima on the east coast. ann thompson is nbc's chief environmental correspondent. ann joins me live from london. the major concerns are what?
9:35am
>> first of all, they're dealing with aftershocks and they just had another aftershock in the fukushima area, measuring 6.4 magnitude. there was an aftershock before the explosion happened at the fukushima 1 plant earlier today and then we had that explosion. japanese government officials say the explosion at that plant did not catch the troubled nuclear reactor there known as reactor number one. he says the explosion did contain that building but the reactor itself is intact and the casing around the reactor was not damaged. even though, the japanese government has tended the evacuation area from 6 to 15 miles around the fukushima one plant and from about two miles to six miles around the
9:36am
fukushima two plant. the big issue is first ooh all the after shock, secondly how to bring down the pressure in that troubled reactor in the fukushima one plant. they say the pressure has actually decreased since the explosion and the government says that the radiation leak has increased since the explosion. and at the fukushima two plant, the question is how do you get the cooling systems restarted? the cooling systems are crucial because that's the water that goes into the reactor that reduces the temperature of the fuel and keeps it from melting. when it he melts, it gets out into the environment and there's nothing you can do. again, it's the after shocks and reducing the pressure and preventing a meltdown. that's what they're dealing with. >> okay. thank you for giving us the very latest there, that fukushima nuclear plant. thanks, ann. we'll speak with you again. meantime, u.s. naval officers are mobilizing to give aid to that nation.
9:37am
officers aboard the uss bridge ridge have arrived in singapore. that ship is expected in tokyo later today. then the uss ronald reagan is now at sea in the western pacific. it is ready to offer help if directed to do so. let's get a closer look at the worldwide effort to get hem help to the japanese mean. susi, good morning. >> good morning, alex. i know that the american red cross has been monitoring the situation very, very closely. you were in touch with the japanese red cross. what are you hearing in terms of the latest on the ground there? >> well, sure. first of all, alex, our hearts go out to the people of japan. they have experienced loss of loved ones, homes, other property. maybe they're searching for relatives and maybe they've had to be evacuated into shelters. so they've had a devastating blow. yes, we've been in touch with the japan red cross, which is a very experienced relief organization. they have about 50 teams now out in the affected areas. these are medical teams taking
9:38am
care of injured people, getting people to hospitals. they're also distributing relief supplies like blankets, about 12,000 blankets already distributed, maybe 11 more to go. the numbers are growing in terms of the number of people in shelters. 60 to 70,000 people in shelters in sendai. that's a lot of people to care for and we just don't know how long it may take before they can go back to their homes. >> yeah. and one thing that we've heard already will be a concern is the disease, contamination, that which we always see in situations like this when people's livelihoods are wiped out. it's the sanitation facilities, is that something you share concern about, as well? >> absolutely. i think as lester pointed out earlier, too, this whole nuclear power issue, because so many people have to be evacuated, even if you survive the earthquake and the tsunami, now
9:39am
you have to be evacuated makes it doubly hard. but as you said, i think the japanese government has set up a number of shelters, the japanese red cross is supporting those shelters. it's going to take a long time. they will need assistance. so we are in touch. we've been in touch overnight with them trying to figure out what can we do? if people want to help, we are accepting donations, which they think would be the best thing to help them. you can go to our website, redcross.org and text redcross to 90999 for a red cross donation. >> that's all good news and i'm sure a lot of people out there are hoping they can help. susi, when you compare that which japan has had to deal with in the past to this situation, can you gives a comparison there? is this about the worst thing ever or have they dealt with worse problems? >> actually, the american people through the red cross, we helped the japanese people in 1995
9:40am
during an earthquake and we were able to send about $10 million to help them. i think that was the worst to date. i think i've read that this is much greater. in fact, i've seen that this earthquake is like 30 times greater even than the san francisco earthquake of 1906. so this is a massive earthquake and tsunami, of course, that compounded it. >> yeah. i'm just going to report something here we're just being told wblg everybody. and this is not independently confirmed by msnbc. around 10,000 people are unaccounted for in a japanese port town of minimisanriku, a port down there. we are getting word from public broadcasting in japan. about 10,000 people are unaccounted for. anyway -- >> alex, sometimes in these
9:41am
situations, whole communities can get cut off. we have heard that we're concerned about smaller numbers of that. there are tidal wave warnings, as well. >> very good point. thank you for your insight from the american red cross. >> thank you, alex. the full scale destruction in japan could takes months. for more on that, i'm joined live by kenneth can you keyae. good day to you, kenneth. what kind of impact will this disaster have on the economy when you factor in the fact that they are having a bit of a
9:42am
problem? their debt in that nation, what is it, $200 billion, something like that? >> it's considerably more, in fact. it depends on how you calculate it and there's lots of ways to do it. but generally, it's about $10 trillion. it's two times its annual economy, it's gdp. $10 trillion is a lot of money. it's the largest debt of any industrialized country. it's all domestically owned, so that means the government has lots of options how it wants to pay for it over time, but it's still a bit much. that means that spending for recovering from the quake will be ham strung because you have to spend it wisely. the government will spend what it takes to reconstruct the country and they'll be able to finance it. there's no question there, either. what it means for the economy is that after a tragedy and a disaster like this, the gdp growth will slow. for example, many businesses are suspending their operations because supply chains are disrupted because power is
9:43am
unreliable. nissan, toyota and honda are three of the automakers who have said they're going to suspend operation as soon as monday. electronics companies like toshiba and sony will be suspending production at certain famts. longer term or midterm, it means that there is going to be some upside in the economy because the government will be spending so much money on reconstruction and infrastructure work. long-term, it's a problem again and the reason why is because you have to pay back the dead that you've used to put into the money for the reconstruction of the country. >> kenneth, tell me again. give me the number that is the the japanese debt right now, how much they owe, and why you think reconstruction will not be a problem with that amount of staggering debt. >> the size of their debt is roughly five times the debt each year.
9:44am
its debt is much less in relative terms. to the size of its gdp. so it's a different issue in america. the reason why you can spend this money is there are many ways in which you can sell the debt domestically through their bank accounts, their insurance companies and elsewhere and to investors directly. you can license sell it overseas to foreigners. you can pay it back over time. japan has a fiscal problem, no question about that. but in a situation like this, which is an emergency, the money will be freed up to spend its way out of the emergency and rebuild the country. no question about it. this is one of the world's richest countries.
9:45am
and they will also spend wisely and they will go right back to normal as soon as it can. >> all right. well, kenneth, thank you very much. great explanation there of the situation in japan from a fiscal perspective. thank you. and for the latest on the aftermath of the quake and tsunami in japan including more incredible pictures from the scene, long on to our website at msnbc.com. we're going to take a look at preparedness, what safeguards can be taken to limit the impacts of a devastating jolt? yellowbook has always been crucial to your business,
9:46am
but now, to get it really cooking, you need a little website development. some transparent reporting, so you know it's working. online ads and 1-on-1 marketing consultation. yellowbook's got all that. yellowbook360 has a whole spectrum of tools. the perfect recipe for success. visit yellowbook360.com and go beyond yellow. but you can still refinance to a fixed rate as low as 4.75% at lendingtree.com. plus, get the best deal or we'll pay you $1,000. call lending tree at... today.
9:47am
what was i thinking? but i was still skating on thin ice with my cholesterol. anyone with high cholesterol may be at increased risk of heart attack. diet and exercise weren't enough for me. i stopped kidding myself. i've been eating healthier, exercising more and now i'm also taking lipitor. if you've been kidding yourself about high cholesterol, stop. lipitor is a cholesterol-lowering medication, fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease.
9:48am
lipitor is backed by over 18 years of research. [ female announcer ] lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. let's go! [ laughs ] if you have high cholesterol you may be at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. don't kid yourself. talk to your doctor about your risk and about lipitor. as the scope of the disaster unfolds in japan, there are renewed concerns here at home. scientist res most worried about the san an dayus fault in california. there is a 94% chance of a 7.0 earthquake in the next 30 years. they say that could cause billions of dollars in damage and leave hundreds if not
9:49am
thousands dead. adding to the tense situations in japan are the 100 plus after shocks that have hit the region. for more on the latest on what to expect in the days ahead, i'm joined live by the discovery channel's aton. you look at your ability to prepare for a sdaefrs of this type. how best can you do that? you hear about these emergency kits or getting an evacuation route. is that really all you can do? >> civilian preparedness is the center of any kind of a program for preparedness. in fact, as a civilian, you are your own responder. you're your own first responder. so the more prepared the civilian population is, the easier it's going to be for the system to deal with the emergency of the crisis. so yes, you can proceed. you have have your grab and go bag, a bag with all of your essential things need to survive outside of your home let's say for a week or longer than that.
9:50am
you want to have all of your important papers, toiletries, things that you need, some food, some first aid, some, you know, flashlights. not the kinds that use batteries, the kinds that you crank or the kinds that you shake because you can't find batteries during disasters and things like that. you want a radio, t want to have to look for in a crisis. yes, that can actually help to really, really balance things off. while the society kind of, you know, reformat itself to get itself -- >> you have to depend on the government and local authorities for a vast part of being prepared and getting people out safely in terms of disasters. >> right. >> are the governments well prepared in this country? by your estimation? are there things they need to do to step it up? >> no, there are lots of things they need to do to step it up now. if we had a disaster of this magnitude here in the united states, it would be cataclysmic in some regions because we are
9:51am
just not set up for that. the -- the great thing about japan is that it was fortified. it was built for -- >> we keep hearing that. they were expected thing. >> they were. they built their buildings and had certain specifications to build the buildings so they could sway. in the united states, new york is due for an earthquake. we were talking about this earlier. the newsroom. new york's due for an earthquake. and we could see an earthquake not -- you know, i would doubt we would get an earthquake of an 8.0 magnitude but we could see a significant earthquake here and what are we going to do when it comes? not if. we are going to have it. it is important people prepare and it is important people to have the bags and important for people to have a plan and the system -- to get their components they need to deal with this situation because we are going to see it happen eventually. >> wow. okay. aton edwards from the discovery channel. thanks. more on the breaking developments out of japan. first, daylight saving time starts tomorrow morning.
9:52am
why is there daylight saving time anyway? you know what it means, right? we will lose an hour of sleep tonight. okay. everyone has someone to go heart healthy for. who's your someone? campbell's healthy request can help. low cholesterol, zero grams trans fat, and a healthy level of sodium. it's amazing what soup can do.
9:53am
♪ work, work all week long ♪ punching that clock from dusk till dawn ♪ ♪ countin' the days till friday night ♪ ♪ that's when all the conditions are right for a good time ♪ [ male announcer ] advanced technology that helps provide cleaner air, cleaner water, and helps make all of us more energy efficient is something the whole world can get in step with. [ static ] ♪ i need a good time [ male announcer ] ecomagination from ge. it's technology that makes the world work. ♪
9:54am
9:55am
news out of one location in japan, national news agency says there's 9500 people missing in one town. also now closely following an explosion at a nuclear facility seeing it there on your screen. it happened in japan. this facility had already been at risk of a meltdown. japanese officials say the amount of radiation leaking from the reactor is decreasing. while that blast brought down the outer walls of the reactor it did not damage the inner metal casing. the earthquake and tsunami damaged that friday. daylight saving time starts early tomorrow. that means it is time to spring forward. sounds good. shift officially happens at 2:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. however, here is the downpoint. sleep experts say the time to adjust your internal clocks is
9:56am
now because we are all about to lose an hour of sleep. dr. ash, board certified sleep specialist. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> it is an hour but we are affected by this. i know tomorrow i will be dragging. i'm telling you all guys, i will have a lot of coffee tomorrow morning. you know. >> unfortunately we are all very sleep deprived. that one hour of sleep that we do lose, we now understand that it can have significant consequences to your health and memory performance. daylight savings time started as a measure to save energy. so we could turn the lights on later in the evening. however, when we implemented it we didn't understand the consequences to your health and, unfortunately, we do pay the price. the adjust. >> are there specifics you can cite as being this you can attribute to sleep deprivation even one hour? >> yes, absolutely. there is an article that came out a couple of years ago now that looked at this and you can imagine that, you know, millions of us are -- losing an hour of sleep at the same time.
9:57am
a large number of people that you can look at and they found that monday morning after daylight savings time, increased incidents of heart attacks. and that -- >> really? >> yes, absolutely. >> they attribute -- >> yes, to the loss of sleep. theory is that one hour of sleep loss is so stressful that it releases inflammatory substances into the bloodstream, your blood vessels and heart. it has been well documented the impact on your performance and the increased risk of accidents. yes. we are starting to realize that this was something we put in place for energy savings. but not necessarily good physiologically. >> you know, when i think about jet lag, i would like to compare it to that. i heard it said let's say you have a three-hour time difference. it takes you one day for every hour difference to get your body clock back to normal. why is this not the same thing? >> it is exactly the same thing. exactly on target with that statement.
9:58am
light dark circles. the time shift is very subtle. this is one change of an abrupt hour that, you know, from -- electronic clock. normally we do not shift that quickly and you have two things that happen. you have the sleep dep created and in addition to that, that shift in the wakeup time, shifts biological rhythms. when you wake up in the morning and expose yourself to light, that tells the brain when it is time to get up and the brain cannot shifted that quickly p.m. it does take three days after that shift to really adjust. >> dr. ash, great information. unfortunately since we will lose this hour of sleep. >> thank you. >> still ahead, latest live from japan including a report of some 10,000 people unaccounted for in one coastal city. 145 years of financial stability and still no one knows the sun life financial name. that changes today. i hear you're the clown in charge. so, cirque du soleil becomes... ...cirque du sun life.
9:59am
because soleil means sun.... (gibberish) i'll take that as a yes... sooner or later, you'll know our name. sun life financial.